A Message from the Lab

Welcome to the Samuel Tak Lee MIT Real Estate Entrepreneurship Laboratory (STL Lab). The STL Lab was established in January 2015, supported by a generous gift from alumnus Mr. Samuel Tak Lee '62, SM '64, to examine urbanization and real estate development issues worldwide, with a particular focus on the People's Republic of China.

The STL Lab's mission is to create a new generation of socially responsible entrepreneurs and academics within the field of real estate who, regardless of their social and financial background, embrace individual initiative and adopt socially responsible real estate entrepreneurship to achieve high private and social returns on investment. Our primary goal is to support and mentor young individuals from all backgrounds, especially women and the underprivileged, to fulfill their potential to become future entrepreneurs and thought leaders in the field of socially responsible development and real estate studies. To achieve this objective, we will fund graduate fellowships, advanced faculty research, and academic and professional exchange programs to attract U.S. and international students, scholars, and practitioners to participate in cross-disciplinary research and educational activities. We aim to harness the transformative power of socially responsible real estate development to enrich the lives of the next generation of entrepreneurs and to shape the future built environment in China. Selected topics of our focus include, but are not limited to:

  • affordable housing;
  • data and technology;
  • development through private action and entrepreneurship;
  • education on real estate entrepreneurship;
  • environmental aspects of urban growth and investment;
  • land and real property rights;
  • land-use reform regulations and codes;
  • new construction materials; and
  • urban resilience and adaptation.

Research and projects undertaken by the STL Lab will use a multidisciplinary approach, and new knowledge and innovative ideas will be disseminated to global audiences through online courses, multi media case studies, and educational games via edX and other Internet platforms.

The STL Lab's programs want to engage all schools, departments, labs, and centers at MIT. We will also continue to create and strengthen domestic and global partnerships with other universities, public agencies, and industrial leaders whose activities and interests are in line with the Lab's mission.

We are excited about our mission and the opportunity to contribute to the theoretical and practical discourses on the relationships between socially responsible real estate entrepreneurship and the built environment.


Eran Ben-Joseph & Albert Saiz, Co-chairman of the Advisory Board
Siqi Zheng, Champion Professor & Faculty Director
Yu-Hung Hong & Zhengzhen Tan, Director & Assistant Director